Friday, August 9, 2013

Missouri Box Turtle & Barred Owl

Cappy's full of smiles when she finds a turtle.
Missouri has 2 species of box turtles.  This is a
3 toed box turtle.  They can actually have 3 or 4
toes on their hind legs.
 He wasn't very shy, until I picked him up.
 Box turtles have a hinge across the bottom shell.
(vertical in the photo above)
When frightened the turtle pulls its head and feet inside
the shell, and pulls each half of the lower shell up
tightly to meet the upper shell, literally closing the box.
Hence the name.
The box turtle has a hard high domed upper shell
with a ridge down the center.
Turtles are one of our favorite little critters.
    This is the other species of box turtle, the
 colorful ornate box turtle. (prior post)
Since I am still nursing the arm, I've had some
time to go through photos.  I came across these
from a few years ago.
We had a knock on the door one morning and our neighbor
 John wanted to know if we had a cage large enough for an
 injured owl he'd found in his yard.  I just happened to
 have a rather large useless "white elephant" flea market find
 hanging on the back porch.  It took my husband, Rufus our
eccentric neighbor, John and heavy leather gloves to carefully
 move the owl into the cage.
  The Missouri barred owl has large dark eyes and brown-
streaked feathers.  They make the classic series of hoots
commonly heard and are easily recognizable, we just 
call them hoot owls.  They live near water and eat small
rodents, snakes, frogs, crayfish and sometimes small fish.  
They can grow to 21 inches tall and have a wingspan of 3 to 4 ft.
After a call to the Conservation Department, the owl was
taken to a wildlife sanctuary, where he was treated for a broken
wing (easily seen in the photo below) and later released.  He 
was a magnificent bird, and we enjoyed seeing him close up.
Gratefully, I never saw that monstrous
 "white elephant" again, but I was glad
it finally came in handy!!


  1. Wow, I really enjoyed this post, Sherri. We have some critters in our yard in Western MA but they are very shy. The raccoons are getting a little friendlier/bolder which I don't like because I'm "ascaird" of them!
    Your dog Cappy really IS smiling!

  2. Love Cappy's smile. Your home with all the wonders of nature is such a delight. I'm glad the owl survived the broken wing and you had the perfect cage! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Another great post, thank you Sherri!

  4. Phil came heard scrabbling around out on the porch one night...opened the door with a flashlight just in time to come face to face--as in inches!--with a screech owl right at the eve of the house. I don't know who was more freaked out, but the owl definitely made more noise. Wow they sound wicked!

    Cappy is just so cute with turtles.

  5. I do enjoy your critter stories. I am a big fan of owls; just wish we had more here. Or maybe they are here and I just can't hear them...may be time for a hearing aide.

  6. Yes, this is a good story. Saving an animal is wonderful. Owls are so beautiful. We hear them, but never see them. Good post. I like turtles too.


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